Paul Begala Honors Lugar in Newsweek for Moderation, But Has Trashed Lieberman, Scott Brown

James Taranto at The Wall Street Journal reports that Newsweek's Paul Begala, the perennially trash-talking Clinton political operative, "has a tiresome paean to Dick Lugar, the defeated GOP senator who felt his opponent wouldn’t do enough to reach across the aisle."

If this man didn't have double standards, he would have no standards at all. This is the same Begala that wrote in January 2010 that Barack Obama shouldn’t reach out to newly elected moderate Republican Sen. Scott Brown. He should “throw an elbow under the hoop”:


I saw senator-elect Brown saying he wants to play basketball with the president. The first thing I thought of it, yes, good, and let's see if the president can throw him an elbow under the hoop. Barack Obama is going to have to shift into a much more tough-minded fighting mode there as a populist mode.

But here was Begala's latest spin:

The longest-serving Republican in the Senate was unceremoniously dumped last week by the Tea Party fringe. . . . He was just too doggone moderate, too ready to compromise with the Democrats. Thanks for that, Senator Lugar. Oh, and you're fired.

Today's Republicans are different. They truly have put partisanship ahead of patriotism.

Taranto had his own example of Begala's double standards. "This would be a completely unremarkable expression of Beltway conventional wisdom, but it turns out to be an exquisitely brazen bit of partisan hackery. In 2009, the same Paul Begala dubbed Sen. Joe Lieberman 'Traitor Joe' for saying he might join a filibuster against ObamaCare. In the end of course, Lieberman backed ObamaCare, which passed the Senate on a party-line vote."

Tim Graham
Tim Graham
Tim Graham is Executive Editor of NewsBusters and is the Media Research Center’s Director of Media Analysis